The Millennium generation’s starting and finishing line for any experience is their body. The obsession with image, and subsequently, the body, is this generation’s brand mark. This explains, and can help to better understand, the current generalised use of tattoos and piercings.
This generation clearly identifies that alcohol and cigarettes are the most commonly consumed drugs and that they are a problem. They are perceived as vain, consumerist, complacent, independent, impatient, stressed, well-informed and bold.
This generation no longer sees school as only a source of knowledge, but also demand that it be a source of ethical and moral values, values which had previously been transmitted by family and religion. Currently, students spend most of their time in schools, be it their normal school, language schools or music schools. Many also practice sports activities, and because of all this combined, spend much less time with their families.
The feeling of solidarity is great, and frequently leads to symptoms of depression and phobias. These situations have been confirmed by expert consultants and psychologists. José Ernesto Bologna, a youth therapist and school advisor, sees this outbreak of modern diseases as a side effect of individualism, typical of our times.
In view of all this, it is the school’s responsibility to give new meaning to solidarity and the collective spirit, as stated by Bologna: “It is clear that society in the second half of the twentieth century shifted responsibility to schools”. In the past, family taught children social etiquette, the Church gave them morals, school transmitted knowledge, companies made them part of the production process and the State organised that process. Now, almost all of these functions have been delegated to schools and the roles in families have changed dramatically.
To summarise, this generation, who was born between the early 80’s and the year 2000, is today between 15 and 35 years old. Many are the children of divorced parents. They had computers before they ever tried smoking for the first time and a mobile phone before their first sexual encounter. They are narcissistic, multifaceted, innovative, egocentric and anxious, in a state of permanent crisis.
This generation is individualist, social and moulded by technology. They seem to be less inclined to purchase homes and cars. They have different consumption patterns, which are forcing economic policies to adapt.
They rent more and buy less fixed assets. This generation has altered the paradigm, which changed from possession to access. This occurred, fundamentally because of necessity, being that the context’s uncertainty and precariousness enables fewer commitments based on a stable and comfortable life. For that reason, they are influencing economic agents, who face new and difficult challenges.